Tropical Storm Nicholas weakened as it moved inland Tuesday and buzzed in Texas after flooding coastal cities with dangerous storm surges in the southern state of the United States, leaving nearly half a million homes without power.
Nicholas landed ashore overnight, raking the coast like a Category One hurricane, and then quickly turned his gaze to Houston, Texas’ largest city.
Other than extensive disruptions, the city with 2.3 million people largely hit a bullet.
“I think we did quite well,” he added.
Perhaps aware of the damage four years earlier, Turner put the city on high alert Monday, erected barricades, activated a rescue office, closed the Houston Ship Channel at its bustling port and warned residents to take extra security measures.
As of 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), the storm’s maximum sustained winds had dropped to 75 kilometers per hour, with higher gusts and were expected to drop 125 to 250 inches of rain over the Texas coast and Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said.
“Life-threatening floods (expected) over parts of the deep south in the next few days,” the NHC reported, adding that urbanized metropolitan areas were also at risk.
“We had a pretty strong hit,” Mayor Gregg Bisso told AFP.
Videos shared on social media showed bad winds – in a clip, the roof of a Citgo gas station covering – and acid rain as the storm moved along the coast towards Houston and beyond.
– State of emergency –
Texas is no stranger to hurricanes, but scientists warn that climate change is making storms more powerful and posing an increasing risk to coastal communities.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had urged residents to take precautions and “be vigilant” in the face of severe weather.
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